A headline in the Tampa Bay Times last week said that “Florida ordered 90,000 child vaccine doses. Texas ordered 1 million.” However, a reading of the story reveals the headline does not match the facts included in the article.
The headline appeared to be written to imply Florida did not order enough vaccine doses for children relative to other states, like Texas and California. The first paragraph of the story continues this narrative. The writers note, the 90,000 doses are “enough to fully vaccinate 3 percent of Florida’s approximately 1.7 million children ages 5 to 11.”
However, after the first eleven paragraphs of the article, the writers reveal that Florida actually “pre-ordered” 90,000 doses of the child vaccine and added another order of 270,000.
From the article: “Florida Department of Health spokesperson Weesam Khoury said in a Wednesday email that the 90,000 doses were an ‘initial supply’ to be delivered this week. She said the state will ‘continue to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are widely available statewide,’ noting that Florida had ordered an additional 270,000 doses ‘to fulfill provider requests.’
At the time the article was published, Florida had ordered 360,000 doses of the child vaccine. However, the headline only referenced the 90,000 doses.
In addition, the misleading headline ignores other facts included in the article.
The writers noted that the 360,000 vaccine orders by the state were in addition to other vaccine doses ordered by the private sector.
From the article: “Some private providers, such as large pharmacies, order doses directly from the federal government. That means in Florida, companies like CVS or Publix do not have to draw its supply from the 90,000 doses ordered by the state.”
The headline comes amid statements by Governor Ron DeSantis that the media coverage of the COVID pandemic in Florida had been deadly. DeSantis made the comments in interview with Fox News host Dan Bongino.
DeSantis said, “Well, I think in some respects it’s been deadly to people how the media has been,” referencing how the media played down his move to open state-run monoclonal therapy sites.
“When we had our summer spike, I rolled out 25 monoclonal antibody clinics,” DeSantis said. “But yet when I did that, the media attacked me. They attacked the treatment because they were trying to score political points. So it’s all about their partisan narratives.”
Based on comments by health care professionals, the monoclonal treatments proved to be successful.
In September , the Florida Hospital Association President and CEO Mary Mayhew stated that, “Getting vaccinated and receiving monoclonal antibody treatments for those who test positive remain the best protection against serious illness and possible hospitalization.”
Also, John Couris, CEO of Tampa General Hospital referencing the monoclonal antibody treatments said, “It’s very effective. Anecdotally, almost 100% of our patients have told us that 24 to 48 hours (after treatment) they feel much better and symptoms start to subside.”
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